Department of International BusinessSeminar Series

The goal of our seminar series is to disseminate the knowledge about IB related research at FIU, address more general issues of interest to the faculty and PhD students and ultimately increase interaction opportunities among us and the academic community and enhance the research culture. The spirit of the seminars is developmental and hence the work presented will be at various stages of completion.

Seminar Schedule Fall 2017

October 27, 2017
Location: MANGO 470
Time: 10:00AM

Seminar Series Lecture
Guest speaker: Dr. Julia D. Hermann
Bio: julia-d-herrmann-bio.pdf

Seminar Schedule Spring 2017

January 26, 2017
Location: MANGO 220
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Talk Title: Sustaining High Performance for MNCs in Emerging Markets

Guest speaker: Seung Ho (Sam) Park

February 17, 2017
Location: CBC 152
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Guest Speaker: Russell Coff

Talk Abstract: 

Perceived Firm-Specific Human Capital and Turnover: Stuck in their Heads?

Olubukunola (Bukky) Akinsanmi, Russell Coff, and Joseph Raffiee

Drawing on human capital theory, strategy scholars have emphasized firm-specific human capital as a source of sustained competitive advantage. In addition to its role in value creation, FSHC is thought to limit rival imitation and rent appropriation by hindering worker mobility. In this study, we explore micro-foundations of firm-specific human capital by theoretically and empirically examining how employee perceptions of firm-specific skills relate to subsequent turnover – extant literature suggests that turnover would be significantly reduced for those who feel their skills are firm specific. However, this is inconsistent with recent findings that workers who perceive their skills to be firm specific tend to be dissatisfied with their jobs and uncommitted to their organizations. We test our hypotheses using two data sources from Korea and the United States. We find no evidence that perceptions of firm specific skills decrease the likelihood of turnover. Furthermore, there does not seem to be a difference in wages for those who leave the firm who perceive that their skills are firm specific. That is, just because employees perceive their skills to be specific, does not necessarily mean that their actual external opportunities are substantially constrained. These findings suggest that perceptions of firm-specific human capital may drive behavior in ways not anticipated by existing theory. This, in turn, may challenge the assumed relationship between firm-specific human capital and competitive advantage.

February 24, 2017
Location: MANGO 220
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Guest Speaker: Luis Diestre

Talk Abstract: 

Push for speed or scope? Pharmaceutical Lobbying and FDA Drug Review

Why do firms lobby the government? There seems to be a shared agreement in the corporate political activity literature that lobbying allows firms to influence public policy decisions in their favor. However, we have a very limited understanding of what “in their favor” really means. Prior studies have mostly examined lobbying in the context of one single government decision, where it was clear what every firm’s preference was. However, we know government action is generally multi-dimensional. When governmental actors are deciding on policy they are deciding on at least two things that firms care about: the content of the policy and the speed of the decision. All firms wish to have governmental issues resolved quickly, but they also wish the policy to be favorable to them. Since governmental agencies decide on these dimensions simultaneously, in this study we ask which of these different decisions firms will try to influence through their lobbying activities. We propose that firms are heterogeneous and therefore lobby for different reasons. Specifically, we claim that a firm’s non-market strategy (what do firms lobby for) will be contingent on its market strategy.

Our study tests this by looking at one of the most tractable examples of lobbying and public officials’ decision making: pharmaceutical companies lobbying the FDA for drug approval. All firms want their drugs approved as fast as possible (speed), however firms also wish for their drugs to be applied to the largest possible market (scope). We argue that firms will lobby for each of these outcomes depending upon their value appropriation strategy, which we identify by looking at drugs’ intellectual property (IP) protection. Firms that have strong IP protection on their drugs will have a strategy aimed at increasing market size as much as possible, and thus we expect them to lobby for their drugs to be available to the largest possible number of indications (high scope). Firms that have weak IP protection, on the other hand, are likely to have a strategy focused on entering the market as fast as possible, so we expect them to lobby to shorten revision time (high speed).

We test our hypotheses using a novel dataset where we link FDA drug applications from 1998 to 2015 to their parent firms and how much each firm lobbied the FDA when the drug was under review. We complement our quantitative statistical analysis with a qualitative analysis based on FDA documentary data and interviews with lobbyists to develop a more fine-grained understanding of how our proposed mechanism works. In line with our hypotheses, we find that when firms have strong patent protection behind their drugs, lobbying increases the number of approved indications; whereas when firms have weak patent protection behind their drugs, firm lobbying leads to faster revisions.

The sizes of the effects of lobbying are staggering. Firms with weak patent protection who lobby the FDA are able to speed up the approval process by about six months compared to those who do not lobby the FDA. Open market estimates of the value of this time difference is upwards of $400 million. Likewise, among firms with strong patent protection, those who lobby the FDA have a 43% greater probability that their drugs are approved for multiple indications. Attending to industry experts, having multiple uses can more than double a drug’s sales.

March 31, 2017
Location: MANGO 220 
Time: 10:30 a.m.

Guest Speaker: Laurie Cohen

ABSTRACT: Losing the faith: Public sector work in times of austerity
Laurie Cohen, Nottingham University Business School
Jo Duberley, Birmingham Business School
Pete McGavin

There is something compelling about people who dedicate their working lives to a higher purpose. For them, work is not just about earning a living, or even about personal satisfaction or achievement. Rather, it is about making a difference to what matters to them, and is at the core of who they are and of what it means to them to be a person in the world. We use the term ‘calling’ to describe this all-encompassing experience, ‘unifying one’s inward and outward life’ (Progoff, 1986: 78), and associated notions meaning and purpose, relationships and identity. But what happens when a person’s sense of calling is under threat? This is the question at the heart of this paper. 

We draw on a qualitative study of public sector workers in the UK who took early retirement in the wake of austerity measures introduced after the financial crash of 2008. Our respondents had all worked in the social services department of same local authority for over 20 years. They were highly dedicated public servants: quintessential examples of what Bunderson and Thompson (2009) describe as a ‘neo-classical’ expression of ‘calling’. However, over the years this was steadily undermined to the extent that when austerity budgets began to bite, they felt there was nothing left. They had lost their faith. ‘Calling’ is a holistic concept which, regrettably, is often studied in a fragmented way. In contrast, our starting point is a concept of calling that is deeply embedded in temporal and spatial settings. To honor its holism, in this analysis we focus on how calling played out in the story of just one respondent: Pete McGavin (also our third author). We take an in-depth look at how, over the years, Pete maneuvered between ever-changing institutional imperatives to do ‘good work’ until the point that this was no longer possible, and he decided to resign. Our contributions are twofold. First, we provide new conceptual insights into calling as a dynamic, temporally and spatially situated process, and the ways into the ways in which individuals navigate this process in the conduct of their working lives. Second, in these days of boiler plates and the quantification of qualitative data, our paper reinstates the importance of hearing our respondents’ voices. 

Seminar Schedule - Fall 2016

October 21, 2016
Location: CBC 142

Modesto A. Maidique, "At the end of the day, what is leadership?: A new model of leadership effectiveness"

October 7, 2016
Location: CBC 241

How Do Firms Augment Their Talent? A Comparative Performance Assessment of Human Capital Building and Acquiring Strategies

Authors: Amit J. Chauradia, Deepak Somaya, and Joseph T. Mahoney

Firms often augment their human capital through building and acquiring strategies. However, in order to generate above-normal economic returns, this paper identifies four classic human capital-related problems that need to be addressed: quality uncertainty, firm-specific human capital, team complementarity, and employee contribution. These problems can manifest themselves differently depending on the firm’s human capital augmentation strategy. This paper develops theory and empirically tests a firm’s capabilities to reduce these problems and thus increase its economic returns. Based on a sample of 217 large U.S. law firms from 2002-2011, the results indicate that a firm’s reputation and an employee’s promotion chances inside the firm positively moderates building vis-à-vis acquiring strategies. Alternatively, a firm that pursues more acquiring vis-à-vis building strategies is more effective when bringing in external leadership.

Seminar Schedule - Spring 2016


Date TBD

Social Capital, Transaction Cost and Firm Capability: Make-or-Buy Decisions at a Startup in China

Abstract: Despite the increasing attention on social capital in organizational research, how social capital affects a firm’s boundary decisions remains unclear, especially for entrepreneurial startups. Our study integrates current literature on social capital, transaction cost and firm capability, and explores how guanxi, one type of important social capital in Chinese context, affects make-or-buy decisions at an entrepreneurial startup in China. First, we examine guanxi’s direct effect on firms’ make-or-buy decisions. Second, we examine whether transaction cost and firm capability can moderate the relationship between guanxi and make-or-buy decisions. Our empirical findings demonstrate that a firm is more likely to outsource (vs. make internally) when guanxi with potential suppliers as a means to reduce transaction cost and avoid litigation is a factor of consideration for the firm. Moreover, the positive relationship between guanxi and decisions to outsource becomes stronger as potential suppliers’ asset specificity and behavioral uncertainty decrease, and when the firm has less unique resource and higher production cost compared with leading suppliers.

Tuesday, January 19th

Screening Spinouts? How Noncompete Enforceability Affects the Creation, Growth, and Survival of New Firms

Abstract: This paper examines how the enforceability of noncompete covenants affects the creation, growth, and survival of spinouts and other new entrants. The impact of noncompete enforceability on new firms is ambiguous, since noncompetes reduce knowledge leakage but impose hiring costs. However, we posit that enforceability screens formation of within-industry spinouts (WSOs) relative to non-WSOs by dissuading founders with lower human capital. Using data on 5.5 million new firms, we find greater enforceability is associated with fewer WSOs, but relative to non-WSOs, WSOs that are created tend to start and stay larger, are founded by higher-earners, and are more likely to survive their initial years. In contrast, we find no impact on non-WSO entry, and a negative effect on size and short-term survival.

Friday, January 29th
CBC 142

The Global Expansion of Family Firms: Propositions Derived from Eight Case Histories

Abstract: This paper aims to fill some of the gaps that exist in the intersection of research on the processes of corporate globalization with work on the particular strategic and growth challenges faced by family-controlled companies. Both of these fields have been widely and independently covered in the literature over the past four decades, but not so the confluence of issues that are found when family companies expand globally. We approach this task by first describing the issues faced by eight family-controlled companies based in Europe and South America as they each expanded into global markets. These case histories are derived from personal first-hand knowledge and experience where the authors worked closely with these companies in the design and execution of their respective global strategies over the past 35 years. We derive a number of lessons from each of these cases that, together with insights drawn from the extant literature, are then summarize into a series of propositions that can be used to guide future research in this important area.

Friday, February 12th
CBC 142

Pack Your Bags Early: What Kind(S) of National Business Systems Facilitate International New Venture Creation?

Abstract: International new venture creation is a growing phenomenon particularly salient for economic vitality and innovation. Not only has there been added demand and support for international new ventures, internationalization at inception has also increasingly become a compelling imperative for venture success. However, it is still not clear why some countries are more internationally entrepreneurial than others, as theory and evidence on institutional determinants of international new venture creation remains scant. We draw on Whitley’s (1999) National Business Systems approach to promote a holistic theoretical framework capturing the system of state, financial, human capital, and normative institutions that shape the national context for international new venture creation. We then use a configurational methodology, Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis, to examine data for 82 developed and developing economies, and find that there are four institutional paths leading to higher participation in international new venture creation across countries. These results allow us to elaborate theory on how formal and informal institutions within the national business system combine in complementary and substitutable ways to foster the entrepreneurial ability and willingness of individuals in society to create value across borders.


Friday, February 19th
CBC 142

Leading Teams in Three Dimensions: Toward a Multi-Foci Theoretical Model of Team Leadership

Abstract: Despite the ever-growing popularity and use of teams in organizations worldwide, a true theory of team leadership has remained elusive. When examining team leadership empirically, most researchers apply dyadic leadership models (e.g., transformational, LMX, initiating structure, consideration) to teams without a clear theoretical rationale for doing so. As a result, there is still no: (a) true theory of team leadership that incorporates both individual-focused and team-focused-behaviors simultaneously; (b) empirically supported contingency model of team leadership; (c) inclusion of the role of task interdependence in determining when a leader should do what in teams; and (d) attention to how leaders should go about managing relationships between team members in a team. In light of these limitations, we develop a more theoretically powerful model of team leadership that attempts to: (a) bridge the gap between functional leadership theory and other traditional views (i.e., marry breadth and specificity); (b) introduce the concept of team leader focus (i.e., team leadership is not dyadic, but it is not all collective, either; and (c) incorporate situational contingencies (i.e., task interdependence). We test our new theoretical model of team leadership using a sample of firefighter teams in the U.S. Our results show that: (a) different entities are critical in team leadership; (b) flexible team leaders perform better than inflexible ones; and (c) the situation matters.

Friday, March 25th
CBC 142

Entrepreneurial Optimism and Venture Capital Valuations

Abstract: Optimism is a well-documented entrepreneurial characteristic. To date, the literature has mostly focused on the (erroneous) actions of the individual optimistic entrepreneur, yet, less attention was given to the effect this characteristic has on the strategic interaction between entrepreneurial ventures and prospective resources providers. The following question motivates our study: How does optimism affect entrepreneur-investor interaction and what are the implications to ventures’ valuations? We conjecture that contingent-pay contracts (e.g., preferred shares) can deter charlatans but may be less effective in screening optimists, thus resulting in an optimism discount. We further conjecture that IPR regime may minimize the discount: an entrepreneur can attract higher valuation by disclosing her invention, but she would do so only when disclosure is not vulnerable to imitation (e.g., if patents are effective). Analyses of a sample of international venture capital investments between 1990 and 2006, using a novel measure of cross-country optimism levels, support our hypotheses. The results advance our understanding of entrepreneurial resource assembly, and particularly the nature of the interactions between entrepreneurs and resources providers.

Friday, April 1st
CBC 142

Sustainability and Entrepreneurship: Just How Beneficial Are Benefit Corporations?

Abstract: Under current U.S. corporate legal structure, fiduciary duty is the central organizing principle of corporate governance in for-profit entities. Expressed as the duty of care and the duty of loyalty, fiduciary duty obligates directors and managers to maximize shareholder wealth. This legal constraint exposes for-profit entities to legal liability when they engage in sustainable corporate governance practices such as using social benefit as a central corporate purpose. In frustration, nineteen states have responded by enacting laws creating a new form of business organization known as the Benefit Corporation. The states have in essence rewritten the rules of domestic corporate governance through business organization innovation. This article navigates the still largely untested waters of how beneficial these new corporations are by conducting a survey of benefit corporations to determine real asset allocation to the stated beneficial purpose. The survey is designed to answer the question whether corporations embrace this new model of corporate social entrepreneurship “to put the money where their mouth is” and really do good or merely to enhance the public perception of a “sustainable brand” as a more effective marketing tool.

Back to top